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27 Nov 2018

One injured, properties destroyed as fire gut buildings in Lagos

A yet-to-be-identified person sustained injury as fire gutted a residential building, which also houses an interior decoration firm, Goldland Interiors and Furniture, at Omole Bus Stop in the Ogba area of Lagos State on Monday.

The fire, which started around 9am, lasted several hours and destroyed properties said to worth several millions of naira.

It was, however, gathered that no life was lost to the inferno.

An eyewitness, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told PUNCH Metro that the fire started from an electrical surge from an air conditioner at the boys’ quarters at the back of the main building, and it took the intervention of the men of the Lagos State Fire Service to extinguish.

Another eyewitness, Oluwasayo Agboola, said she was the one who raised the alarm when the fire started, adding that she put a call to the fire service.

She said, “After the general morning prayer at my workplace, I went to my office and as I was trying to look for something, I suddenly heard a sound and I opened my window; I saw fire coming out of the BQ at the back of the building beside our office, I raised the alarm and went outside to alert neighbours too so that we could prevent it from getting to our building. I called the emergency number 112 but they did not pick on time; I told someone else to call them.

“The fire service personnel got here later and they were able to quench the fire; no life was lost but someone was injured and was taken care of, but properties were destroyed and they are worth several millions of naira, because I had been to the firm before, I patronise them and they have a lot of quality things worth several millions of naira.”

PUNCH Metro learnt that  among the agencies that responded to the fire incident were the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Lagos State Traffic Management Agency, Lagos State Fire Service, Federal Road Safety Corps, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the police.

The Acting Director, Lagos State Fire Service, Rasaki Musibau, who confirmed the incident to our correspondent, said four fire stations responded to the fire alarm.

He said, “We got a call around 9.46am through the commandant and immediately we mobilised from the Alausa Fire Station, which is the closest to the scene of the fire incident, and our people got there around 9.52am. When they got there, they discovered that the fire had been razing a building of twin duplexes of four bedrooms each that was being used for both commercial and residential purposes.

“The upper floor of one of the duplexes is used a residential apartment, while the ground floor is used by a commercial outlet for interior decoration.

“We mobilised the Agege Fire Station to assist Alausa, because we discovered that it was a serious fire. On getting there, another assistace was requested, so we mobilised Bolade and Ikeja Fire stations; so, we had a total of four stations that responded to the call.

“The intensity of the fire before we received the call was already high but we tried to get the properties that had been moved out to a safer place, but the intensity of the fire had damaged some of them. We tried as much as possible to curtail the spread of the fire to other buildings. There was no casualty, but the person who was injured was treated by the medical team of LASEMA.”

Musibau added that the cause of the fire had not yet been ascertained.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, CSP Chike Oti, also confirmed the incident, adding that men of the Nigeria Police Force were called and they responded to the fire.

He said, “People raised the alarm about the fire incident and our officers responded to the situation by arriving there to protect lives and see how they could help to bring the fire under control.

“With the assistant of other first responders, we were able to bring the fire under control and no life was lost. An investigation is ongoing to find out the real cause of the fire and the value of the property lost is still yet to be estimated.”

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